5 Tips for Running in Sub-Zero Temperatures

The key to running in the extreme cold is to protect yourself, wear the proper clothing, and have an exit strategy.

1. Dress in Layers

You’ve heard this one before. Probably from your mother, who advised you take along your jacket — just in case. Well, you should listen to her. A good approach to running in sub-zero temperatures is to wear a breathable synthetic layer, followed by a second insulating layer, topped off by a wind-proof shell. (synthetic layer, half-zip shirt, shell) On the bottom, consider the same approach in two layers (synthetic layer, tights or pants).

2. Grease Up

You’ll be harder to catch than a greased pig in a snowstorm. Smother Vaseline on any exposed skin to offer insulation from the cold and protection from the wind. That means your nose, cheeks, chin, neck, and ear lobes. You’ll be amazed what a layer of this stuff can do.

Tip from the pros: If you’re racing in shorts on a cool day, you can coat your hamstrings and other important muscle groups in Vaseline to keep them warm.

3. Protect Your Bits and Pieces

Okay, guys. This one’s for you. Buy yourself some underwear that is synthetic and offers windproof protection where it’s needed most. You only need to run in the freezing cold once to realize the value of this garment.

4. Head, Hands and Feet

Wear a good hat that covers your ears and keeps you warm without causing sweat to trickle down your neck and freeze. There are several breathable winter hats made for this purpose. Keeping your hands and feet warm will prevent frostbite and make your run more comfortable.

We have found good success wearing wool mittens over synthetic running gloves. The mittens always seem to keep your hands warmer than gloves, and the synthetic gloves keep your hands from getting sweaty inside the mittens. On your feet, you could wear some warm Merino wool running socks.

5. Tell a Friend

It’s always important to tell a friend or family member that you’re going out for a run. However, running in sub-zero temperatures makes it a necessity. You don’t want to get stuck out there. It’s a good idea to bring a phone along as well. Let’s face it, even if you don’t normally run with your phone, you’ll be glad to have it. Be smart and stay safe and you’ll look forward to winter running.

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How to Release the Piriformis Muscle

The piriformis muscle is one of the most irritated spots on a human body. It attaches to the outside of each hip and to your sacrum, the spine’s lowest section. Its job is to turn your leg outward. The major issue for many people is that the sciatic nerve runs through or under the piriformis muscle. If your piriformis is too tight, it can lead to pinching and sciatica-like symptoms in the affected leg. When the piriformis irritates the sciatic nerve, it leads to pain in the buttocks as well as referring pain along the sciatic nerve felt down the back of your thigh or in the lower back.

Step 1

Stretch the piriformis. This is the first step in releasing the muscle. Lie on your back. If you need to release the muscle on your right side, bend your right knee, bring it across your body, and point the knee toward your left shoulder. Move the bent knee back to the starting position. Put your hands under your bent knee and bring it to your chest. You will feel a stretch in your buttock region–stretching the piriformis. Use progressive piriformis stretching. Start with five seconds, and gradually work up to 60 seconds of sustained stretch. Repeat several times throughout the day. If your pain is on the left, utilize the same procedure on the left side of the body.

Step 2

Take a tennis ball, place it under your piriformis and lay on it. This will work out a trigger point, or a knot within the muscle. Lay on the ball for 30 seconds. Relax for one minute. Repeat the process four to five times.

Step 3

Utilize a foam roller. This also can work out a trigger point. If you need to release the piriformis on the left side, start by lying on your left side and placing your left elbow on the mat or floor. This will stabilize your upper body. Place the foam roller beneath the back side of your left hip, under your piriformis. Roll back and forth to release the tension in the muscle. Do the same thing on the right side if that is where you are experiencing pain.

Step 4

Treat other biomechanical problems simultaneously for best results and to prevent future problems. For example, overpronation of the foot can contribute to the problem. Pronation happens as the foot rolls inward and the arch of the foot flattens. Leg-length discrepancies also are commonly associated with piriformis problems, and can be corrected with use of orthotics. Prescription orthotics can be obtained by visiting a chiropractor and undergoing a gait analysis. Stretching may need to be combined with physical therapy for issues like overpronation.

Tips

Keep hydrated and take extra vitamin C, calcium and magnesium to promote tissue healing.

Things You’ll Need

  • Tennis ball
  • Foam roller
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4 Warm Winter Smoothie Recipes

Notice that refreshingly cold smoothies don’t have the same appeal during wintry weather? Give your smoothies a winter makeover by serving them hot and toasty. (It’s not as strange as it sounds—promise!) These ice-free, warm smoothie recipes will warm you up after a chilly morning jog.

Oats and Chocolate Hot Smoothie

It only takes six simple ingredients to whip up an outrageous oats and chocolate smoothie. Safety tip: Don’t fill your blender or smoothie maker with boiling liquid! The steam creates pressure that can cause the lid to blast off, literally. Add the hot ingredients at the end.

Ingredients

  • 15g/0.5oz dark chocolate, chopped (check the brand for gluten free if required)
  • 200ml/6.75floz almond milk
  • 20g/0.7oz rolled oats (check the brand for gluten free if required)
  • ½ a ripe, medium sized banana
  • 6 almonds
  • 5g/0.2oz chia seeds
  • 20ml/0.7floz cold water

Directions

  1. Add the dark chocolate to a jug and pour in the almond milk. Microwave until the mixture is warm and the chocolate has melted (you can do this in a pan if you prefer).
  2. Add the oats, banana, almonds, chia seeds, the water and approx. a fifth of the almond milk to your smoothie maker or blender. Add in an extra splash of cold water if you think the liquid is too warm (see warning above about hot liquids and smoothie makers).
  3. Blend on high for a minute until the oats and chia seeds have been completely incorporated.
  4. Whilst it’s blending, further heat the rest of the almond/chocolate mix until hot, but not boiling.
  5. Pour the blended oat mix into your cup, stir in the almond/chocolate mix and serve.

Warm Apple Pie Smoothie

This warm smoothie has all the taste of an old-fashioned, homemade apple pie—minus the hassle of baking. Plus, at 124 calories and 0 grams of fat per serving, you can slurp with a clear conscience.

Ingredients

  • 1 apple, cored and cut into chunks (peeled if you don’t have a high-powered blender)
  • ½ cup / 120 ml water (for a creamier smoothie you can use yogurt)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or raw organic honey)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • A pinch of allspice
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine apple, water, vanilla, maple syrup and spices in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a mug and microwave on high for about 2 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and if you’re feeling particularly daring, add a bit of whipped cream on top. Serve!

Wintry Warm Banana Smoothie

The tryptophan and vitamin B6 in bananas helps to boost your body’s production of serotonin, which can improve your mood and increase feelings of satisfaction and relaxation.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 peeled ripe banana
  • ¼ cup chopped raw walnuts
  • 2 or 3 pitted organic dates
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Optional Anti-Inflammatory Addition: 1/4 inch knob of fresh ginger

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix) and process until smooth and creamy. Serve warm.

Apple Cider Smoothie

Need a healthy way to detox? This warm cider smoothie packs a ton of fiber, iron, and antioxidants – thanks to ingredients like fresh apples and spinach.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cup water
  • 3 green apples, roughly diced
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1-inch ginger, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 scoops protein powder *optional
  • Supplements – Vitamin C Powder, MSM, Fish Oil, Maca – optional

Directions

  1. Juice 1/2 a lemon and pour the juice into a high-powered blender or food processor.
  2. Add the water, apples, spinach, ginger, cinnamon and protein powder and blend until very smooth.
  3. You can enjoy at this apple cider smoothie at room temperature or cool it down by blending in ice cubes. To enjoy it hot, either heat it by running the Vitamix for 5 minutes or warm it in a pot on the stove.
  4. Finally, whisk or blend in the supplements and enjoy.
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Exercises While in Bed From a Broken Ankle

Also referred to as an ankle fracture, a broken ankle involves damaged bones and ligaments in the ankle joint. Symptoms include severe pain, swelling, bruising and inability to carry weight on the foot. A broken ankle can take several weeks or months to heal. During recovery, you will need to stay off the ankle to ensure proper healing. Although you should avoid exercising the injured foot, there are a variety of other exercises you can perform while in bed from a broken ankle.

Range-of-Motion Exercises

When you are on bed rest after a serious injury, range-of-motion exercises are vital for maintaining the health and integrity of your joints. When done regularly, ROM exercises keep your joints flexible, maintain muscle strength, increase circulation and prevent blood clots. When doing ROM exercises, begin at your neck and work down to your toes. These exercises simply involve moving the joints in every possible direction. For example, exercising the neck involves pulling your chin to your chest, tilting your head back to look up at the ceiling, looking from side to side and dropping the ears to the shoulders. Along with the neck, ROM exercises should be performed on the shoulders, elbows, forearms, wrists, fingers, hips, knees and ankles. While recovering from a broken ankle, avoid ROM exercises on the injured leg.

Leg Exercises

After a broken ankle, you will likely need to avoid exercising the injured leg. However, these leg exercises can be performed on the healthy leg. While lying flat in bed, bend your knee and press your foot flat against the bed. Slowly slide your heel along the bed toward your buttocks. Then, slowly slide the foot back to starting position. In this same bent-leg position, slowly slide your foot out to the side and then back to center. Extend your leg straight with your foot flexed. As you tighten the muscles in your thigh, bend your knee and draw it toward your waist. Use your arms to hug the knee to your body for up to five seconds before returning to starting position.

Abdominal Exercises

For many people, abdominal exercises can easily be performed from bed. However, if you typically tuck your feet underneath the couch while working your abs, it may be difficult to perform these exercises with a broken ankle. Begin by performing 10 to 20 traditional crunches. Then, modify the crunches to work your oblique muscles. With your hands behind your head, bring your elbow to the opposite knee every time you crunch forward. Slide your hands underneath your buttocks and extend your legs straight on the bed. Use your abdominal muscles to lift your uninjured leg toward the ceiling. Hold for two to three seconds and then slowly lower back to the bed. Repeat 10 times.

Arm and Shoulder Exercises

Lying on your back, extend one arm toward the ceiling with the fingers pointed. Slowly draw 10 small circles in the air in a clockwise direction and then 10 small circles in a counterclockwise direction. Then, draw 10 large circles in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction. Repeat with the other arm. If you are only recovering from a broken ankle, you should be able to perform simple arm exercises with light weights from bed. Exercise ideas include overhead triceps extensions, shoulder presses, chest presses and bicep curls.

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For the next article in the series: click here >>What is Cuboid Syndrome?

4 Things Young, Active Guys Do That Ruin Their Joints

It used to be that joint problems were something only older guys had to worry about.

But today orthopedic surgeons are seeing people in their 40s or younger for joint replacements. In fact, data from the National Center for Health Statistics finds the number of hip replacements has more than doubled in a 10-year span, skyrocketing by 205 percent in people ages 45 to 54.

Surgeons attribute the rise to people wanting to stay active as they age.

Today’s implants also last longer than they once did, so joint replacements are now an option at a younger age, since physicians aren’t as worried about having to replace them.

But while the surgeries are effective, we’d all prefer to skip a trip to the hospital, right?

Here, the top mistakes we all make when it comes to our joints and how to stay out of harm’s way.

You’re Only a Runner

Many patients seeking joint replacement are in good cardiovascular health, but not necessarily good physical health.

If you only run, you might have imbalances when it comes to muscle strength and flexibility. And this, paired with repetitive trauma over time, could lead to arthritis, causing your joints to wear away. It’s important to cross-train.

Giving certain muscle groups (like the ones you use on long, slow jogs) a break once or twice a week while activating new muscles (like the ones you might use sprinting) can fend off injury.

You Let Your Weight Go

When you run, your knee joints carry 7 to 9 times your body weight. While your body can handle this, some research suggests that runners aren’t at an increased risk for issues like osteoarthritis, so it’s important to keep the scale in check.

From a biomechanical standpoint, increased weight is a lot of stress. Overweight people are at a 40 percent or higher increased risk of a knee replacement down the line compared to those at normal weights. The link was even stronger in younger people.

You Skip Stretching

The key to joint health is achieving a good balance between strength and flexibility. As you get older, you need to spend as much time, if not more time, stretching than strengthening. Why? Because the more candles on the birthday cake, the less flexible your muscles become, and flexible muscles help keep joints mobile.

You Push Your Flexibility Too Far

Intense workouts like mud runs aren’t the only way to injure your joints. While exercises like yoga are great ways to boost flexibility and strength, anything extreme when it comes to range of motion—like reaching for that pose your body’s not quite ready for—can put you at risk for a joint injury.

When you create range of motion extremes, you can create bony spurs (projections along a bone’s edges) that may predispose you to arthritis. Your best bet isn’t to skip yoga but rather to stick with the modifications that work for you. And give yourself time before trying anything you might not be ready for.

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7 Things To Do For Stronger Knees

Stretch your IT band. Spending some time stretching and warming up your IT band before diving into a strenuous activity is a good way to keep your knees strong. It is the area of thicker tissue that runs from the outside of the pelvis to the outside of the knee. The IT band helps to stabilize the knee during physical activity.

1. Stand with your left foot crossed over your right and stretch your arms above your head. Lean your upper body as far as you can to the left without bending your knees. Repeat with your right foot crossed over your left, leaning your upper body to the right.
2. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched in front of you. Cross one over the other and pull your knee as close as you can toward your chest, holding it in place for a few seconds. Repeat with your other leg.
3. Ball-squeeze squat: Place a ball between your thighs and squeeze. Slowly squat down until your knees are bent 90 degrees or as low as you can. Do three sets of 10 reps.
4. Large-step lunge: Take a big step forward with one leg and lower your body until your rear knee nearly touches the floor. Bring the rear leg forward to return tot he starting position. Do three sets of eight to 10 reps.
5. Strengthen your hamstrings with step-ups. Stand in front of a raised surface and practice stepping up with one foot, then the other. Repeat on both sides. You can do this holding dumb bells. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
6. Jumping Rope. Jumping the right way is good. You might want to start in front of a mirror, and make sure that you are landing with your knees slightly bent.  For stronger knees, practice landing in a half-squat position with your knees bent.
7. Do low impact cardio that will, over time, strengthen your knees. Some good activities to try are yoga, swimming, walking and biking. If you’d like to try higher impact activities after this, your knees might be strong enough by then.
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The Great Ice vs. Heat Confusion Debacle

What ice and heat are for:

Ice is for injuries, and heat is for muscles. Roughly.

Ice is for injuries — calming down damaged superficial tissues that are inflamed, red, hot and swollen. The inflammatory process is a healthy, normal, natural process that also happens to be incredibly painful and more biologically stubborn than it needs to be. Icing is mostly just a mild, drugless way of dulling the pain of inflammation. Examples: a freshly pulled muscle or a new case of IT band syndrome (which is more likely to respond than the other kind of runner’s knee, patellofemoral pain, because ITBS is superficial and PFPS is often a problem with deeper tissues).

Heat is for muscles, chronic pain, and stress — taking the edge off the pain of whole muscle spasms and trigger points, or conditions that are often dominated by them, like back pain and neck pain), for soothing the nervous system and the mind (stress and fear are major factors in many chronic pain problems, of course).

What ice and heat are not for:

Heat can make inflammation worse, and ice can make muscle tension and spasms worse, so they have the potential to do some mild harm when mixed up.

Both ice and heat are pointless or worse when unwanted: icing when you’re already shivering, or heating when you’re already sweating. The brain may interpret an excess of either one as a threat — and when brains think there’s a threat, they may also amp up the pain.

But heat and inflammation are a particularly bad combination. If you add heat to an fresh injury, watch out: it’s going to get worse! If you heat a freshly injured knee, it can swell up like a balloon, and three times more painful. (That is a rare example of a particularly severe negative reaction to heat. Most cases are not going to be that bad!)

The lesser known threat is from icing at the wrong time, or when it’s unwanted.

If you ice painful muscles, be careful: it might get worse! Ice can aggravate sensations of muscle pain and stiffness, which are often present in low back and neck pain. Trigger points (painfully sensitive spots) can be surprisingly intense and easily mistaken for “iceable” injury and inflammation. But if you ice trigger points, they may burn and ache even more acutely. This mistake is made particularly often with low back pain and neck pain — the very condition people often try to treat with ice.

What about injured muscle?

If you’re supposed to ice injuries, but not muscle pain, what do you with injured muscles (a muscle tear or muscle strain)? That can be a tough call, but ice usually wins — but only for the first few days at most, and only if it really is a true muscle injury. A true muscle injury usually involves obvious trauma during intense effort, causing severe pain suddenly. If the muscle is truly torn, then use ice to take the edge off the inflammation at first. Once the worst is over, switch to heat.

Which is better?

Ice packs and heating pads are not especially powerful medicine: some experiments have shown that both have only mild benefits, and those benefits are roughly equal in treating back pain.

The bottom line

The bottom line is: use whatever feels best to you! Your own preference is the tie-breaker and probably the most important consideration. For instance, heat cannot help if you already feel unpleasantly flushed and don’t want to be heated. And ice is unlikely to be effective if you have a chill and hate the idea of being iced!

If you start to use one and you don’t like the feel of it… just switch to the other.

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How to Prevent Common Cycling Injuries

It’s not uncommon for cyclists to encounter nagging injuries. The good news is that most of the common cycling injuries are preventable. You’ll soon discover themes among preventing many of the injuries:
  • Make sure your bike fits you.
  • Train wisely.
  • Increase your strength off the bike.
  • Stretch.
Not only will these things make you a stronger cyclist, they will greatly reduce your risk of injury. 
Here we go with some of the more common cycling injuries:

How To Prevent Foot Pain

What may cause you to get foot pain:
  • Poor fitting shoes.
  • Worn down shoes.
Prevention tips:
  • Buy bike shoes that are the right fit.
  • Make sure your shoes are loose enough and aren’t too tight for your feet.
  • Do the insole test: Take the insole out from your shoe, and put it against the bottom of your foot. No part of your foot should be outside the insole frame. If it is, get a bigger or wider shoe.
  • Over time your shoes will lose their support. If you don’t feel the time is right to go out and buy new shoes, or you otherwise believe your shoes are in fine shape, you can add supportive insoles to alleviate the issue.
  • Switch to a wider pedal to distribute the pressure across more of your foot.

How To Prevent Ankle Pain

Many times when cyclists feel a nagging pain around their ankle, it’s the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon attaches your calf to your heel.
What may cause you to get ankle pain:
  • Cleat position on your pedal.
  • Riding too much too soon, especially hills.
  • Tension in your lower leg muscles.
Prevention tips:
  • Try changing the cleat position on your pedal. Make sure your shoes aren’t too far forward. Cleats that are too far forward can strain the Achilles tendon as it forces it to pedal on your toes. You can reduce the tension on your Achilles tendon by having your toes pointed up during the bottom portion of the stroke, thereby taking care not to overwork it.
  • Build your mileage over time, especially when it comes to biking hills.
  • Stretch your calf muscles. When you are out riding, your calf muscles are in a near constant position so it’s important to counteract it.

How To Prevent Knee Pain

What may cause you to get knee pain:
  • Height of your bike seat.
  • Cleat position on your pedal.
  • Weakness or imbalance of your butt muscles.
  • Riding too much too soon, especially in a big gear.
Prevention tips:
  • Get a proper bike fit, including making sure you adjust your bike seat to the correct height. If the front of your knee hurts, try raising your seat height. If the back of your knee hurts, try lowering your seat height.
  • Include strength training as a part of your cycling routine. Focus on strengthening your outer gluteal muscles.
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend in big gears.
  • Ride at a higher cadence in an easier gear to reduce tension on your knees.
  • Increase your training gradually.

How To Prevent Hip Pain

What may cause you to get hip pain:
  • Riding too much too soon, especially in big gears.
  • Tight hip muscles.
Prevention tips:
  • Avoid riding too much in big gears.
  • Ride at a higher cadence in easier gears to reduce the pressure on your hips. A generally accepted cadence is 90+ rpm. If you’re unsure of what this feels like, and your odometer doesn’t tell you (or you don’t have an odometer!), try to find a stationary bike to test it out on. Stationary bikes generally provide the cadence at which you are pedaling.
  • Work on core strength so your core muscles can help your hip muscles when cycling to reduce the load off your hips.
  • Do stretches focusing on your hips.

How To Prevent Neck Pain

What may cause you to get neck pain:
  • Improper bike fit.
  • Riding in a tense position.
Prevention tips:
  • Keep your shoulders down and relaxed as you’re riding so you will avoid tension in your neck muscles.
  • Avoid over-reaching to your handlebars. If you find yourself doing this, some adjustments should be made to your bike fit.
  • Do gentle neck rolls and shoulder rolls. This is something you can do when you are stopped at an intersection or even while you are riding.

How To Prevent Wrist Pain And Numb Hands

What may cause you to get hand pain:
  • Too much pressure on the handlebars.
  • Improper positioning of your hands.
  • Poor positioning of handlebars.
Prevention tips:
  • Avoid putting too much pressure on the handlebars.
  • Hold the handlebars in neutral position, so your wrists are not angled at a position that is too high or too low.
  • Every now and then release a hand from the handlebar as you are riding and shake your hand out.
  • Wear padded gloves to minimize the direct pressure placed on the handlebars.
  • Adjust your handlebars to avoid putting unnecessary weight from your upper body on them.

Tips To Stay Healthy And Injury-free

You may have noticed some common themes among preventing these cycling injuries!
  • Have a bike that is properly fitted for you! This is one of the best ways to avoid many common cycling injuries.
  • Ramp up your mileage strategically. Record your rides so you can track your progress and you can tell whether you are riding too much too soon.
  • Increase your overall strength. Sure, riding a bike will build those leg muscles, but you also want to complement that, as well as work towards any problems with muscle imbalance. Also don’t forget about your core. Your core muscles are your foundation and assist your other muscles, including legs, in cycling. Your core also contributes to good posture on your bike, and you know good posture is also key in keeping injuries at bay!
  • When you’re riding, you can be in a sustained position for awhile, leading to tight muscles. It’s important to counteract that through working on your flexibility. There are some great yoga poses that can help in off-setting that tension.
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5 Ways to Stretch Your Calves (a Must For Runners and Heel-Wearers!)

The calves are one of the most overused and overlooked muscles in the body, and if you wear heels, run regularly, or both, stretching your calves is a must, since tight, shortened calves can lead to injury. These five calf stretches can be done almost anywhere, so click through to learn how to do them and then add these stretches to your daily routine!

Wall Calf Stretch

This is a classic calf stretch that you can do just about anywhere.

  • Stand a little less than arm’s distance from the wall.
  • Step your left leg forward and your right leg back, keeping your feet parallel.
  • Bend your left knee and press through your right heel.
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and switch legs.

Wall or Curb Stretch

This is one of the easiest stretches to do as soon as you finish a run. If you have weak Achilles tendons, do the variation using a wall instead of a ledge.

  • Find a wall and stand a few inches away. With one foot, put your toes on the wall, keeping your heel on the floor, and flex.
  • Hold for about 10-15 seconds, then alternate with your other foot.
  • You can also do this stretch using a curb or step and hanging your heels off the ledge.

Seated Calf Stretch

This is a simple way to stretch your calves while sitting.

  • Sit comfortably on the floor. If the backs of your legs are really tight and you find yourself slumping, sit on a pillow so you can keep your spine straight.
  • Fold your right leg in and reach your left leg long.
  • Wrap a yoga strap or Theraband (or an old tie or belt from your bathrobe) around the ball of your left foot.
  • Use the strap to pull your toes toward your head.
  • Do not jam your knee into the floor and keep your left heel on the ground.
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and then repeat of the other side.

Downward Facing Dog

This basic yoga pose is a great calf stretch.

  • Begin in a plank pose with your hands under your shoulders then lift your pelvis up making a “V” with your body. Spread your fingers wide.
  • Work on bringing your heels toward the ground.
  • Allow your heels to flare out slightly wider than your toes.
  • Reach your sits bones, on the bottom of your pelvis, high to the ceiling to increase the stretch.
  • To deepen the stretch in your calves, try treading lightly by pressing down on one foot while bending your other leg (as shown). Hold a few seconds per leg and then switch.
  • Hold or alternate your feet for a total of 30 seconds.
  • You can increase your stretch even more by lifting up one leg into Three-Legged Dog.

Calf and Shoulder Stretch at the Wall

This stretch is a great multitasking stretch that opens the shoulders as well as the calves.

  • Stand in front of a wall with your feet together. Place your hands on the wall shoulder-width apart.
  • Rock your weight back on your heels without locking your knees, so your toes get pulled off the ground. Reach your bum out as far as you can by lengthening through your spine. Tuck your chin to feel a deep stretch in the back of your neck.
  • Stay here for thirty seconds and then shift your weight forward, placing your toes back on the ground.
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5 Really Great Reasons Why Good Posture Is Super Important

So it turns out, your mother was right after all: Good posture really matters ― even in your older years.
Here are five reasons why good posture matters.

1. Bad posture can adversely impact your sex life.

Research shows that slouching ― the opposite of “power posing,” meaning standing up tall and straight ― results in low energy and low self-esteem. Standing straight up with your shoulders back and neck aligned with the rest of your spine is considered a “power pose” that can boost your energy and confidence levels. By regularly practicing good posture, you’ll feel more confident and energized in and out of the bedroom.

2.  Slouching makes you look older. 

If you’ve spent years sitting at a desk, hunched over a computer, you may be more likely to develop that unnatural hump in your neck or back resulting from “text neck.” For women, the forward slouching motion and rounding of the shoulders can cause breast sagging. To avoid your slouching from developing into skeletal or spinal issues, stay mindful of your posture in any position you’re in, whether you’re seated, standing, or walking, said Wang.

3. Bad posture can damage your back.

Yes, of course you knew that. Did you know that back pain is the second most common reason people visit the doctor every year, and poor posture is directly correlated to the increase in back pain in people who spend a great deal of their time sitting. Research found that during an average workday, people spend as much as 38 minutes per hour slouching.  

4. Poor posture can cause irregular bowel movements. 

We kid you not. It’s not just your back that will feel the affects of your slouching ― your intestines will take a hit, too. Having good posture means your stomach and intestines can easily push food through ― but poor posture can cause your gastrointestinal system to lock up or function poorly. Research has also shown that people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome who suffer from bloating and gas can ease their symptoms by standing up straight. 

5. Bad posture makes you more selfish.

Research shows that sitting upright helps reduce self-focus, allowing you to tune in more on the needs and emotions of the people around you.
InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.
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